An 18 year old Massachusetts man was convicted of motor vehicle homicide based on his texting while driving. On February 20, 2011, Aaron Deveau was driving a car when it swerved across the center line and crashed head-on with another vehicle, killing the driver. Police confiscated his cell phone records and found that he had sent a message two minutes before the crash and received a message just one minute before the crash.

Because of this, the state charged him with motor vehicle homicide and negligent operation of a motor vehicle, using a mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle, reading or sending an electronic message while drivied, a marked lanes violation, and two counts of negligent operation and injury from mobile phone use.

Deveau claimed that he was not using his phone at the time of the crash. He said that he had left it on and placed it in the passenger's seat. He claimed that he became distracted because he was thinking about homework when his car went left of center. Prior to the crash, Deveau had sent and received 193 texts. Texting while driving is a crime in Washington, D.C. and 38 states. Deveau could spend up to four years in prison based on his conviction.

I think the sentence is rational enough and Deveau indeed received what he deserves. I think the reason he gave of being distracted by the thoughts of his homework was just nonsensical excuses to save himself from the mistake because the distraction level is not as impactful to that of texting. Because of this selfish act, an innocent life is lost and serving the sentence is the only way to educate him and other drivers about the importance of obeying the law. Regardless of what car you drive, be it a BMW or a Ford, rules are still rules and you need to abide by them.
by Peter Mould July 9, 2013 at 04:21 AM
It may look like an open and shut case, but even if texting while driving is illegal, I would think that it is still necessary to show that it is that act which caused the accident and eventual death. This is my understanding of the law as I know it. A skilled lawyer or attorney might just have been able to get Deveau off the hook. That said, the use of a cell phone, especially the act of reaching for your cell phone while driving (on the other seat), seems to be consistent with the result of the car suddenly swerving off center. This would not normally happen if you were just simply distracted (unless you were swerving to avoid something) from homework. I wonder if this was what swayed the jury at the trial.
by Daniel Anderson October 15, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Texting while driving is a crime in Washington, D.C. and 38 states and i am hoping that US Govt. will impose a ban on it in our state as well. I come across several irresponsible teenagers everyday who create a lot of mess just because they were texting someone while driving.
by Texting Gloves June 28, 2012 at 10:32 AM
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